In 2006, Charlie Lynch opened a medical marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay, California. He was such a stickler about following California state law that he called all the legal authorities he could. The ribbon-cutting for his shop was attended by local pols and chamber of commerce types and his shop flourished due to his outgoing personality, dedication to customer service, and strict enforcement of all laws related to medical marijuana.
In 2007, his dispensary was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration and local sheriffs. Thus began a legal nightmare from which Lynch—and the country—has yet to awake. Placed under house arrest, threatened with an effective life sentence, and stripped of his income, Lynch became one more casuality in the war against medical marijuana.
Eventually, Lynch was tried in federal court, where the Kafkaesque proceedings meant his defense was not allowed to tell jurors that medical marijuana was legal under California law. Eventually, Lynch was sentenced to a year and a day, and was allowed to be free pending an appeal that seems unlikely to ever be fully resolved.
Lynch's ordeal—and the country's—is the subject of Lynching Charlie Lynch, a new documentary made by Rick Ray, who helped produce Reason.tv's original coverage of the Lynch case as it unfolded.
Alex Manning and Zach Weissmueller talked to Ray about his movie, which opens today at iTunes, Amazon, and other online and on-demand venues via Brainstorm Media .
About 7 minutes long.
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Watch ReasonTV's coverage of Charlie Lynch here .